The Government has published the Climate Change Response Bill 2010. The Bill, which has been in preparation for the past eighteen months, is a legislative priority and the Government will be seeking to progress it through the Houses of the Oireachtas immediately, with a view to enactment in February 2011.
The Bill sets out a robust statutory basis to strengthen the national response to climate change. Key provisions include ambitious but realistic national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050; a new national planning process encompassing both mitigation and adaptation; a new annual process on reporting to the Oireachtas; and a new Expert Advisory Body to advise Government on policy and implementation.
The objective of the statutory approach is to reinforce Government policy on positioning Ireland as a responsible country on climate change, with a progressive policy response focussed on transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable future. Transition aims to address the challenges and embrace the opportunities that climate change presents for Ireland and to significantly reduce our over-dependence on imported sources of fossil fuel energy.
“This legislation is about planning for the future. It’s about protecting our economy and our society in the long term,” says John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government. “Constructing a low-carbon economy is an enormous challenge, but it is a challenge that also brings immense opportunities. The low-carbon economy of the future will see the development of new industrial sectors. These new clean technologies will create new jobs and develop new sources of economic growth development.”
A public consultation period will run until 28th January 2011. All information relevant to this consultation can be found at www.environ.ie.